The cherry laurel tree is commonly found in many home gardens and yards. It is a popular choice with home gardeners because it is easy to grow and produces thick, glossy leaves. This tree is also attractive to birds because it produces black, round fruit.
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Identification and Average Size
The cherry laurel -- known by its scientific name of Prunus caroliniana -- is a member of the Rosaceae family. This evergreen tree is also known by the name Carolina Laurelcherry and is native to North America. The cherry laurel is characterised by its quick growth, typically reaching heights of 25 to 40 feet and a spread of 15 to 25 feet.
The cherry laurel grows in areas of full sun, partial sun or partial shade. While young and immature, the cherry laurel requires plenty of moisture. Once it reaches maturity, this evergreen tree is fairly tolerant of drought conditions.
The cherry laurel is considered to grow at a rapid rate, according to North Carolina State University. This tree produces leaves of 2 to 3 inches, which are a dark, glossy green. White flowers bloom in the winter and fruit grows in the form of small, black berries. The cherry laurel attracts birds, but its foliage is toxic if ingested by livestock. The cherry laurel is typically pyramidal while it is immature and rounds out at the crown as it matures.
Uses And Maintenance
Rapid growth, beautiful foliage and easy maintenance makes the cherry laurel a popular choice among home gardens. The cherry laurel is often pruned to create a dense hedge or screen. Allowing this tree to grow upright will result in it making a small to medium sized tree. According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, a cherry laurel should be pruned once or twice by the time it reaches eight to 10 years old. Once established, the cherry laurel is easily transplanted to other sites.
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